10 Things to Do in Pensacola That You Shouldn't Miss

March 2, 2018 Rosalyn Ihle

If you're looking for some great Florida beaches but aren't necessarily interested in a mega-resort or theme park atmosphere, Pensacola might just be the place for your perfect weekend. Home to Gulf Islands National Seashore, the city offers some of the best fishing and boating in the area. Inland, canoeing enthusiasts won't want to miss the beauty of the Blackwater River. Closer to town, the city has a proud military heritage, which can be seen at attractions like the National Museum of Naval Aviation and the Pensacola Naval Air Station.
Restaurants in Pensacola

1. National Naval Aviation Museum

1750 Radford Blvd, Suite C, NAS, Pensacola, FL 32508-5400 +1 850-452-3604
Excellent
91%
Good
6%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 5 reviews

National Naval Aviation Museum

Experience the magic of flight at the National Naval Aviation Museum! See over 4,000 artifacts and 150 aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Aviation. Ride the flight simulators or catch all the drama and power of amazing IMAX films. Dine in the authentic Cubi Bar Cafe and take home the spirit of Naval Aviation with a unique memento from the Flight Deck Store. Spend a cool day inside the Museum and experience Hands-on-History! New Naval Air Station Entrance: All visitors to the National Naval Aviation Museum, Fort Barrancas and Pensacola Lighthouse who do not possess a Department of Defense identification card or are unescorted by the holder of a Department of Defense identification card, will be required to enter the installation via the West Gate located off Blue Angel Parkway.

Reviewed By beerwriter - Indian Harbour Beach, Florida

One of the world's best military aviation museums tracks the history of U.S. Naval aviation from the earliest seaplanes to the 21st Century. Historic artifacts include the NC-4, which became the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic Ocean nearly a decade before Lindbergh's solo nonstop flight. One cautionary note: While GPS guidance may send visitors to the Naval Air Station's main gate, those without Defense Dept. IDs can't enter there. Instead, use NAS Pensacola's West Gate, which is reached via Blue Angels Parkway.

2. Blue Wahoos Ballpark

351 W Cedar St, Pensacola, FL 32502-4909 +1 850-934-8444
Excellent
85%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 686 reviews

Blue Wahoos Ballpark

Reviewed By just8keylimepie1969 - Pensacola Beach, Florida

The best minor league stadium! Looking over the water, with awesome seats all over. The food concessions have evolved over the years and getting better. Its not the best food it could be, but we try to eat before. The lines are very long at the beginning of the games.We would like to see more outside vendors for healthier food choices like fresh fish or chicken tacos.

3. Pensacola Naval Air Station

190 Radford Blvd, Pensacola, FL 32508-5215 +1 850-452-2311
Excellent
84%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
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5 based on 949 reviews

Pensacola Naval Air Station

Homebase for the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron, Pensacola NAS is also home to the Pensacola Lighthouse, the National Museum of Naval Aviation and Fort Barrancas, an early 19th-century garrison.

Reviewed By Mike G - Pensacola, Florida

Every sailor or marine that ever flew an airplan,trained at NAS .
It is also home to the Blue Angles which practices and puts on air shows there.
There is an air museum there that is spectacular and you could spend hours there original air boats to today's fighter planes.
The museum is free and has simulators that you can try out and displays depicting war time history.
Some of the planes allow you to climb in and tour them.
Not to be missed.

4. Santa Rosa Island

Pensacola, FL
Excellent
83%
Good
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5 based on 173 reviews

Santa Rosa Island

Pensacola Beach is the main attraction on this island.

Reviewed By TBeaupre - Fayetteville, Arkansas

Even though this strip is very narrow and is over-washed during some hurricanes the shoreline hasn't changed much in recent history. If you look carefully you can even find a military canyon (battery with rails) concealed in some of the higher dunes. The lagoon side still has some very important sea grasses and you can find some lantana species, too.

5. Gulf Islands

Pensacola, FL
Excellent
89%
Good
7%
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5 based on 118 reviews

Gulf Islands

A historical area with beautiful beaches.

Reviewed By Ramblingman163 - Daphne, Alabama

Pick a day. Any day. The water will be gorgeous and the sand will be white. The breeze coming off the water will be just enough to cool you down in the warm sunshine. If it gets too hot, dip in the water. If it gets too windy, pick a bar or restaurant to relax in for a bit.

We head to the beach on a regular basis. Just to walk along the waterfront, or to people watch, or to have a quick lunch with a great view. It's one of the best reasons to live in this area.

6. Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier

41 Fort Pickens Rd, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561-2078
Excellent
63%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 452 reviews

Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier

Reviewed By Chef2017 - Florida

Overall: Highly Recommended.

What can you stay except pay the $1.25 for some amazing views. If you are a fisher men than pay to fish, you will have a great time.

The views of the Emerald Green Water and the beach are amazing. Bring your camera for great photos.

If you haven't been you are missing out.

7. Johnson Beach

13333 Johnson Beach Rd, Pensacola, FL 32507-9609
Excellent
81%
Good
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4.5 based on 335 reviews

Johnson Beach

Reviewed By TravelVidaa

$15 per car admission

$10 motorcycle admission

$7 per person if walking or bicycling

Open 5:00 am to 10:00 pm

Free admission on Veterans Day

Restrooms available

Water fountains available

Showers available

Picnic tables available

Miles of quite , beautiful beach

Locals walking, running, biking

Ideal for families or weddings

Child stroller and wheel chair accessible

8. Veterans Memorial Park

200 S. 9th Ave, Pensacola, FL 32502 +1 850-434-6119
Excellent
76%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 123 reviews

Veterans Memorial Park

The home of Wall South, the first permanent replica of the National Vietnam War Memorial. Founded in 1992 the Park has since grown and prospered. It now includes a WWI Memorial, a WWII Memorial, a Korean War Memorial, and a running series of plaques to honor local warriors who have fallen in the Global War on Terror. There is also a Purple Heart Memorial and a monument to the submarine lifeguards who rescued so many Navy pilots in WWII (including President George Herbert Walker Bash). Most recently, it is home to the Marine Corps Aviation Bell Tower, which has become a popular venue for local veteran's events and ceremonies. Our Park continues to grow. A Revolutionary War Memorial has been approved and will shortly join our other memorials. It will fill a gap of omission at the Park, honoring those whose sacrifice gave Americans a Nation worth defending. The next gap to be filled will be a memorial to honor the current generation of Americans who are fighting the Global War on Terror. Our community is steeped in military tradition and enriched with a strong military presence. The full range of service, sacrifice, duty and honor that comes with military service is amply illustrated in the example of our own citizens. This park is dedicated to the memories of those who sacrificed their lives in the defense of this nation.

Reviewed By BlueHighwayTraveler - Columbia, Tennessee

Having the only 'other' permanent memorial of the Wall (Viet Nam Memorial) this place has a special feel.
There are memorials to all soldiers to all wars of the US. Each has their own space. It is a quiet spot- and emotionally charged as well. A nice setting overall, with water and flora and fountains, a very good place for reflection and remembrance.

9. Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum

2081 Radford Blvd, Pensacola, FL 32508-5403 +1 850-393-1561
Excellent
61%
Good
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Satisfactory
6%
Poor
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum

The Best View in Town! Climb 177 steps up the historic Pensacola Lighthouse for one of the most beautiful views on the Gulf Coast. Built in 1859, the lighthouse is located on board NAS Pensacola. The tower offers stunning views of Pensacola Bay, the Pensacola skyline, and the historic Navy Yard. The fully restored Keepers' Quarters, built in 1869, is home to a museum and a gift shop. Visit this historic spot in America's First Settlement, established in 1559. Make a day of it and visit the National Naval Aviation Museum and Fort Barrancas while you're here. Our nature walk takes you to the white sands of beautiful quiet-water beach–a perfect beach for kids. Bring the family and a picnic lunch and stay a while. The Pensacola Lighthouse and museum is open 7 days/week. Special tours include Blue Angel practices, Light of the Moon and Ghost Hunts. Private tour and function times available as well. *To access NAS Pensacola, civilian guests must use the West Gate on Blue Angel Parkway*

Reviewed By geekbower - Pensacola, Florida

went with family the view was awesome the walk was well worth the view today they had a band playing

10. Fort Barrancas

Pensacola Naval Air Station, Pensacola, FL +1 850-455-5167
Excellent
62%
Good
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Satisfactory
10%
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4.5 based on 443 reviews

Fort Barrancas

Located in the Pensacola Naval Station, this is the site of the first U.S. Naval yard that was built in 1821.

Reviewed By Thomas M - Littleton, New Hampshire

Fort Barrancas is an old Spanish Fort, and a part of the National Park Service, Gulf Islands National Seashore. There is a fee to get into the fort, and although we had a pass for entry, the fort happened to be closed for a holiday. There was no access into the fort redoubt, so we were content to walk around the grounds and to enjoy some of the views from the high ground overlooking the fort. Maybe we just need to plan to revisit on our next trip through Pensacola.

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